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I was lucky enough to visit Malaga for a family member’s birthday in March. The thought of some winter sun and the number of wonderful things to do in Malaga made the city a perfect location for a family holiday.
From this long weekend, I have created a list of the top things to do in Malaga. This is the perfect number of things to see during a laid back weekend in the sun.
When to Visit
Luckily for us, there is no bad time to visit Malaga. Due to the location in the south of Spain, Malaga manages to attract sun worshippers all year round.
If you are wanting to have a busier party vibe, peak season during June, July and August are the key times to go.
Malaga can also be perfect for a winter trip with nice comfortable temperatures.
Either side of summer can be arguably the best time to visit Malaga. The crowds will not be as big, the sun will not be at its strongest but still hot, and it can also be more budget friendly too.
How to get around
Compared to other cities in Spain, like Madrid, Malaga is an extremely compact city to visit. All major attractions are within a short walk from each other. Therefore, no public transport or car hire is required.
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Gibralfaro Castle is one of the main attractions in Malaga. It is set upon a hill of the same name. The castle was built in 929AD and is architecturally beautiful.
Once inside there is a viewpoint overlooking Malaga which truly shows off the city.
After reaching the viewpoint at the top of the hill, almost all of the top attractions in Malaga are visible (including the bullring which I refused to visit after learning what actually happens to the bull during my time in Madrid).
The viewpoint really does make the perfect location for a holiday/travel snap with an incredible backdrop.
The Roman Theatre was originally built around the 1st century and sits at the foot of Alcazaba (a fortress in Malaga). The theatre was discovered accidentally when construction beneath Alcazaba began. Since then, the Roman Theatre has been restored and preserved.
The location offers the perfect place to sit and relax in the sun. Another bonus is that the restaurant, El Pimpi, is located directly across from the Roman Theatre if visiting around lunch or dinner.
Malaga hosts a number of beaches. The most accessible of them being La Malagueta. This is only a short walk from the historic centre of Malaga. The beach is around 1.5 km long and consists of dark, fine sand.
The beach is perfect for soaking in some rays. An alternative (and maybe the better option) is to find a beach-side cafe/restaurant and try some fresh seafood.
Muelle Uno, or “Pier One” is a relatively newly constructed commercial area along the seafront. It hosts a number of shops and restaurants overlooking the Alboran Sea, making it the perfect location for a refreshment after a trip to the beach.
You can also snap some incredibly picturesque holiday snaps of the Malaga shoreline from here. Find a good seat and watch the sun set over the city as the boats come in.
Located in the heart of the city is the city’s crown jewel. This is probably the most iconic building within Malaga.
The cathedral (Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga) itself was built between 1528 and 1782 and it is said to have been build on the remains of an old Mosque.
The cathedral can be admired from the narrows streets surrounding it, or there is also a tour inside and on the rooftop for a small fee.
There is no doubt you will pass by this attraction many times even on the shortest of trips.
Mercado Central de Atarazanas
Mercado Central de Atarazanas is an old school, covered market with a variety of food items & numerous tapas bars in an interesting environment.
This market is located on the eastern side of the historic centre of Malaga. Fresh fruit and vegetables, meats and more are all offered in abundance here.
There is also the option for some freshly cooked food which was too good for me to pass up. Try some typical Spanish tapas dishes such as calamari and gambas pil pil, served with a nice cold Spanish beer.
The park is one of the only green spots I found during my time in Malaga. Located near the seafront, the park extends from the Plaza de General Torrijos to the Plaza de la Marina.
Malaga Park is one of the main promenades of the city that features an abundance of subtropical plants, monuments, statues and fountains. All of these make this the perfect place to escape the urban surroundings.
Also… is it a trip to Spain unless you spot a Bird of Paradise?! Also known as… my favourite plant.
AC Hotel Malaga Palacio
Another one for those who love a viewpoint. Although not necessarily an attraction, the AC Hotel Malaga Palacio offers one of the best views of the sun setting in Malaga.
The bar and roof terrace area is open to the public so you do not have to be a resident here to enjoy the view.
The drinks and snacks are not the cheapest you will find in Malaga but obviously come with a premium as you get a spectacular view over Malaga.
The hotel is located next to the cathedral which is also a better vantage point to see the cathedral architecture as a whole, rather than just up close.